Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease which causes the afflicted to break out in a rash featuring large red spots and boils that we largely associate with children at school.
The condition will spread very easily but during its course the body will quickly build up antibodies against it. This way the individual will be protected against future occurrences of the disease. This is actually a desirable scenario as chicken pox symptoms are far more severe in adults than they are in children – meaning that some parents will try and purposefully infect their children so that they don’t have to worry about the condition in later life. The disease is ultimately self limiting and only really a problem for those who contract it when they still in their infancy or pregnant. However in rare circumstances it can be dangerous for adults in their middle age too where the symptoms will be far more severe.
To find out if you or your child currently have, or have ever had chicken pox, you should look out for the following symptoms associated with chicken pox:
- Nausea and potentially vomiting
- A high temperature (anything above 38 degrees should be considered a warning)
- Aching muscles and general lethargy
Many of these can be considered flu-like symptoms or generally feeling unwell. After these you will then normally begin to develop the rash that earns the condition its name. This rash will vary greatly and may just be a few spots in one area or a plethora that covers the entire body. If the rash appears in ‘crops’ then it will often be in the following places:
- Behind the ear
- Across the face
- On top of the scalp
- On the chest
- On the stomach
- Over the biceps and upper legs
- Under the arm pits
This rash tends to start a small and itchy red spots but aft around half a day it tends to develop into larger blisters filled with fluid. These will be highly itchy but it is important not to scratch them as this can cause them to burst and leave nasty scars. You may also develop ulcers inside your mouth or across your genitals.
Usually these last for around one to four days. After this point they will generally crust over becoming just patches of dry skin. After this the crusted skin will fall off on its own leaving the patient back to normal.